New Wetland for Hamble Brook

New Wetland for Hamble Brook

The low-lying land adjacent to many of our chalk streams would have provided unique habitat for a wide variety of plants, birds, insects and small mammals. These wetland areas also provide refuges during the temporary drying phases of the main channel, protection from predators for over-wintering birds and, in wetter times, flood storage for communities living downstream. Wetlands are now also known to be the most effective carbon sinks on the planet.

And yet, England has lost 90% of its wetland habitat.

So it is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that the Hamble Brook now has a formal wetland site for the first time in over 140 years.

As part of the continued restoration of this critically important, winterbourne chalk stream, and with funding from Farming in Protected Landscapes as well as the landowners themselves, we’ve just finished installing a 2500m2 wetland. We worked with the natural undulations of the landscape to create lowered areas which will be wetter for longer, and made sure that the topsoil, together with its in-built seedbank was returned to preserve its natural appearance, and to aid landscape recovery.

Being a winterbourne valley, the site will not be wet all the time, but it is closer to the water table and can also be fed by a spring channel as well as the main river.

With rare species already being found in the area, including the Scarce Purple Dun mayfly, we will keep a very close eye on the recovery and development of this fabulous enhancement to the local habitat mosaic.

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